The joy, obedience and enthusiasm of a dog. Yes you are allowed to draw parallels.



He knows by now that I will not take the ball from his mouth. Obediently he drops it at my feet and then waits for me to kick it. Like all good masters I feign a kick left, then right and finally blast it straight down the middle into the rough where he will have to spend some time tracking it; tail wagging just above the Fescue.

Once in awhile I will pick up his ball. It is gross of course, covered in his saliva and roughed by chew marks of him trying to squeeze everything out of it. It is tossed in the air and caught behind my back. Miraculously it comes from behind and can be seen by him cresting over my head. It seems to hang there for a minute and then starts to descend.

I catch it with my right hand. Feeling blackish and dark I spin the ball on my fingers, tossing it from one to the other of both hands, all the while spinning and teasing. His eyes grow and glow with each flick longing desperately not to be bound by the sit and stay command; to follow his ball.

The ball, back on my right hand, is lofted 8 inches in the air casually. As it comes down the finger is stabbed into the centre of it and it instantly becomes larger. Several times this is done and the ball each time grows from the size of a golf ball to a hard ball to a softball. Yes I am fantastic but it is not done to brag. The whole point for me is to watch the dogs eyes grow and to watch him strain at sit. To watch him want it.

I am in a mood this morning and with the gravity of joy in my hand I manipulate the dog more. The ball is placed on his nose in front of the most beautiful spheres one can imagine. These are not moons reflecting but tiny suns radiating. A light of their own. Slowly I raise it above his head and start moving it towards his tail just above and along his spine, out of his line of site. Every hair on his body raises as the ball passes over them. Every ounce of stretch is exercised as his body pulls toward it without his feet moving off the ground. What a good dog.

The ball is taken back and again lightly tossed several times. With each touch of my finger it grows from softball, to basket ball and then finally to moon ball. I give it one more toss and then, it lights on my finger, it glowing. It becomes the colour of a smiling bruise with a smattering of red stripes and tooth shaped craters. I am of course a little afraid of the dog leaving sit as this likely is too much for him but there he stays; barely.

The orb is tossed into the sky and hovers. It tracks to the horizon pulling every Juniper bough up under its power until their roots are raised dimples in the earth; barely holding on. It causes the tears of every ocean to well up as it tracks, creating a surreal mist that light prisms through as it drops below the horizon.

The dog’s vital signs are off the chart. He alternates his eyes either to the west or to his feet, thinking he can hear the ball bounce along on the underside. If I pulled this trick daily he would know to look east but today, being the first time, I will have to direct him there. I get his attention, point east and release his stay command. “Go get it”.

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